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Priests outed through the Grindr app emphasize rampant data tracking | Business

When religious publications used data from smartphone apps to infer the sexual orientation of high-ranking Roman Catholic officials, a problem became apparent that went far beyond the debate about church doctrine and priestly celibacy.

It is a politician, celebrity, and other target because there are few U.S. restrictions on what a company can do with the vast amount of data it collects from access to web pages, apps, and location tracking built into phones. It’s rare to stop similar spies on almost everyone. A person’s curiosity — or malice.

Citing the “possible improper behavior” claim, the US Catholic Episcopal Conference on Tuesday preceded a report by Catholic news agency The Pillar investigating his private romantic life. Announced the resignation of official Monsignor Jeffrey Barril.

Pillar is “correlated” to Burrill’s phone to determine that he’s visited a gay bar or private home while using Grindr, a dating app popular with gay people. He said he got “commercial” location data from no vendor.

Alvaro Bedoya, director of the Privacy and Technology Center at Georgetown Law School, said:

Privacy activists have long instigated laws to prevent such abuse, but in the United States, they exist in only a few states and in many ways. Bedoya said the firing of Barril should drive the dangers of the situation home and ultimately bring action to Congress and the Federal Trade Commission.

Privacy concerns are often interpreted in abstract terms, he said, “when it really is, you can explore your sexuality without your employer firing you. Many abuse victims take great care to prevent abusers from finding them again.

As a Congressional employee in 2012, Bedoya worked on a law banning apps that allow abusers to secretly track victims’ locations via smartphone data. But it never passed.

“No one can claim that this is a surprise,” Bedoya said. “No one can claim that they were not warned.”

Privacy advocates may and should protect where and personal data collected by advertisers and collected and sold by brokers to identify individuals and requires their explicit consent. I have warned for many years that it is not regulated by the law. The person being tracked. They say they need both legal and technical protection so that smartphone users can push it back.

Pillar insisted on “continuous sexual misconduct” by Barril — homosexual activity is considered sinful under Catholic doctrine, and priests are expected to remain single. The website of the online publication explains that it focuses on research journalism that “can help the church serve better in its divine mission, salvation of the soul.”

The editor did not immediately respond to a request for comment on how the data was obtained on Thursday. According to the report, the data comes from one of the data brokers that aggregates and sells the app’s signal data, and the publication has been contracted and certified by an independent data consulting firm.

Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat in Oregon, said the case reaffirmed industry fraud that falsely claimed to protect the privacy of phone users.

“Experts have long warned that advertising companies can use data collected from American phones to track them and reveal the most personal details of their lives. However, they were right, “he said in a statement. “Data brokers and advertising companies are lying to the general public, ensuring that the information they collect is anonymous. As this terrible episode shows, these claims were fake. Tracking individuals. Can be identified. “

Weiden and other lawmakers asked the FTC to investigate the industry last year. “We need to strengthen and protect Americans from these exorbitant privacy infringements, and Congress needs to pass comprehensive federal privacy legislation,” he added.

Norwegian Data Privacy Watchdog is $ 11.7 million (NOK 100 million), which is equivalent to 10% of California companies’ global revenue, with Grindr sharing personal user data with many third parties without legal grounds. I concluded that I would impose a fine. ..

The data leaked to advertising technology companies about targeted advertising included GPS location, user profile information, and the simple fact that certain individuals were using Grindr, which could be sexually oriented. ..

Sharing such information could risk someone being targeted, according to the Norwegian Data Protection Agency. Grindr claimed that the method of asking users for permission to use the information violated the European Union’s requirements for “valid consent.” Users were not given the opportunity to opt out of data sharing with third parties and were forced to accept Grindr’s entire privacy policy, he added, adding that users were not properly informed about data sharing.

The advertising partners Grindr shared data with include Twitter, AT & T’s Xandr service, and other advertising technology companies OpenX, AdColony, and Smaato, Norwegian Watchdog said. The investigation followed a complaint by a group of Norwegian consumers who discovered a similar data breach issue with other popular dating apps such as OkCupid and Tinder.

In a statement, Grindr called The Pillar’s report “an unethical and homophobic witch hunt” and “did not believe” it was the source of the data used. Pillar states that the app data obtained for Burrill covers some of 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

Priests outed through the Grindr app emphasize rampant data tracking | Business

Source link Priests outed through the Grindr app emphasize rampant data tracking | Business

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